Progress of the municipal ward-based primary healthcare outreach teams in Vhembe, Limpopo Province

P Sodo, A Bosman


Background. The primary healthcare (PHC) re-engineering strategy aims to strengthen the delivery of PHC services in the context of the National Health Insurance system. It repositions a curative, individually orientated system towards a proactive, integrated and population-based approach to service delivery, based on municipal wardbased primary healthcare outreach teams (MWBPHCOTs).

Objectives. To determine the progress and effectiveness of MWBPHCOTs in Vhembe, Limpopo Province, in the financial year 2014/2015.

Methods. Using a mixed-methods approach, document review and analysis of the existing district health information system (DHIS), MWBPHCOTs data were collected from all the four subdistricts of Vhembe.

Results. The results of the rapid assessment reported that a total of 151 MWBPHCOTs were operational in the 4 sub-districts of Vhembe. A total of 75 team leaders and 554 community health workers have been trained since the inception of the programme. The results of the assessment also reported that 71 413 household visits  were conducted in the financial year 2014/2015. The evidence showed that the programme contributed to strengthening linkages to other sectors and departments through a referral system.

Conclusion. Overall, the DHIS data analysis provided evidence that the programme is achieving its set target, although there are still some problems in implementation, such as the dual roles played by the outreach team leaders and community health workers.

Authors' affiliations

P Sodo, Programme Evaluation Unit, Foundation for Professional Development, Pretoria, South Africa

A Bosman, Programme Evaluation Unit, Foundation for Professional Development, Pretoria, South Africa

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Southern African Journal of Public Health (incorporating Strengthening Health Systems) 2017;2(1):18-22. DOI:10.7196/SHS.2017.v2i1.34

Article History

Date submitted: 2017-07-14
Date published: 2017-07-14

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